Stoeckl, Heidi; Hertlein, Linda; Himsl, Isabelle; Ditsch, Nina; Blume, Carolin; Hasbargen, Uwe; Friese, Klaus; Stoeckl, Doris:
Acceptance of routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence: a mixed method study.
In: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth
Background: The prevalence and detrimental health effects of intimate partner violence have resulted in international discussions and recommendations that health care professionals should screen women for intimate partner violence during general and antenatal health care visits. Due to the lack of discussion on routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence during antenatal care in Germany, this study seeks to explore its acceptability among pregnant German women. Methods: A mixed methods approach was used, utilizing a self-administered survey on the acceptability of routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence in a university hospital's maternity ward in Munich and in-depth interviews with seven women who experienced violence during pregnancy. Results: Of the 401 women who participated in the survey, 92 percent were in favor of routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence during antenatal care. Acceptance of routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence during antenatal care was significantly associated with women's experiences of child sexual abuse, being young, less educated, single or divorced and smoking during pregnancy. Open-ended survey questions and in-depth interviews stressed adequate training for screening, sufficient time and provision of referral information as important conditions for routine or case-based inquiry for intimate partner violence. Conclusions: Women in this study showed an overwhelming support for routine or case-based screening for intimate partner violence in antenatal care in Germany. Until adequate training is in place to allow providers to inquire for intimate partner violence in a professional manner, this study recommends that health care providers are made aware of the prevalence and health consequences of violence during pregnancy.